A Guide From Newport Beach To Marina del Rey
Dates, information, viewing locations and how to make it a party for the Newport Beach, Marina del Rey, Long Beach, Naples & Redondo Beach boat parades.
Boat parades are a big part of the holiday season in Los Angeles.
After all, in a place where Santa wears shorts and it’s often 70 degrees while you are Christmas shopping, you need something to get you in the spirit of the season.
And Los Angeles comes through with not one, but several parades. Heres’ a rundown of them, including dates for 2017.
– NEWPORT BEACH BOAT PARADE –
One of the top Holiday events in the entire USA – if not THE biggest – gets a million viewers during its five-day run.
Everything from luxury yachts to Duffys are decorated with lights, flashing Santas, Christmas trees and reindeer. Sexy elves? Of course! Still more party boats join the parade, making this one of America’s Top Holiday Party Events.
This is the 108th anniversary of the boat parade. It’s definitely a signature event of Newport Beach and it’s set up for all to enjoy. There are three designated viewing areas, by the Balboa Pavilion and the American Legion Yacht Club (215 E. 15th St.) on the Balboa Peninsula and the Boy Scout Sea Base (1931 W. Coach Highway).
Of course, a big part of the parade is watching at bars and restaurants. There’s the Newport Landing and Harborside Pavilion restaurants (on the peninsula); the lineup of places along PCH consisting of Joe’s Crab Shack, the Rusty Pelican, Chart House, Billy’s on the Beach, Villa Nova (a great place because it’s the turnaround, 2700 block of W. Coast Hwy).
On the peninsula, Woody’s Wharf and the neighboring Ten Waterfront are lively.
But the most popular – at least for singles – of these locations is the Balboa Bay Yacht Club (1221 West Coast Hwy, valet parking $10). The bar is lively before, during and especially after the parade. All this happens every night of the parade.
The event also involves the “ring of lights,” in which locals also decorate their homes and businesses around the harbor in lights.
This event regularly occurs the third week of December from Wednesday thru Sunday.
Event Dates: Dec. 14-18, 6:30-9 p.m.
Location: Newport Harbor
Link: Newport Boat Parade Official Site.
– LONG BEACH BOAT PARADES –
Shoreline Village & Naples
With Los Angeles hugging all that coastline along the Pacific, it’s only natural that several of its communities would have their own boat parades. Here’s a look at the biggest ones:
• Long Beach & Naples. This seaside city – one of the largest in California – has not one but two boat parades.
The first one takes place in Naples, which is just past the young-and-fun Belmont Shore part of Long Beach. It’s unique in that it goes along the small canals in the neighborhood; there are carolers and spectators walk up and down the streets. Many homes are decorated in addition to the boats. The parade runs north of the 2nd Street bridge with the Long Beach Yacht Club serving as the start and finish point.
There is free parking is at the Marina parking lot on Marine next to Albertsons.
The first is around the popular Shoreline Village area. Called the Parade of 1000 Lights, it is put on by the Shoreline Yacht Club (host club for the start of the Transpacific Yacht Race). There are many viewing options – at the Lighthouse behind the Aquarium, the pier just outside of Gladstone’s, the Shoreline Village walkway and the bars and restaurants of Shoreline Village (the Yard House and Parker’s Lighthouse. Places like Gladstone’s, the Alud Dubliner and Mai Tai bar are packed with party-minded people afterward.
Event Dates: 1000 Lights, Dec. 17, 7 p.m.
Naples, Dec. 10, 6-8 p.m.
Location: Shoreline Village and Naples
Link: Shoreline Yacht Club.
– MARINA DEL REY BOAT PARADE –
Sat, Dec. 10
Since 1963, Marina del Rey has been hosting a boat parade.
The event begins with fireworks followed by a two-hour parade. There is music throughout the event and commentary by KFI-AM reporter Lisa Osborn and cartoon voice-over Mickey Laszlo (see, where else could a cartoon voice-over do commentary for an event other than L.A.).
While the “fingers” of the marina provide places to watch the parade, the best place is Fisherman’s Village (13755 Fiji Way). There’s places along the water to stand, plus a number of restaurants: El Torito, Shanghai Red’s, the Marina del Rey Hotel, Sapori and the Angler’s Choice
The Grand Marshal for the 2009 event is Zac Sunderland, the first under-18 sailor to sail solo around the world.
The next day, neighboring Venice has it’s own parade of sorts with small boats, canoes and even kayaks decorate. It’s along Del Ave., off Washington Blvd., and starts at 4 p.m.
Event Date: Sat. Dec. 10. Fireworks: 5:30, Boat Parade: 6 p.m.
Location: Main Channel. Viewing at Fisherman’s Village.
– REDONDO BEACH BOAT PARADE –
Saturday, Dec. 10
A mix of families and South Bay singles check attend this event. Far smaller in scale than even Marina del Rey, it’s a simple affair but offers nice cocktailing opportunities for those so inclined.
The bar at the Portofino Hotel (Baleen and let us point out it has very nice rum selection), Joe’s Crab Shack, Samba and the On the Rocks which, for locals, is the old Chiller’s location, provide the best views. There’s also a nice public area on a grassy area out toward the jetty at the south end of the main channel of King Harbor (down from the Bluewater Grill at 655 N. Harbor Drive).
Event Date: Saturday, Dec. 10, 5:30 p.m.
Location: King Harbor main channel (208 Yacht Club Way)
Link: King Harbor Boat Parade Viewing Locations & Bars